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Kenya launches UN platform to unlock youth potential

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA |  Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Wednesday launched Kenya’s chapter of Generation Unlimited (GenU), a UN platform which he said will assist the government in unlocking the potential of Kenyan youth.

Kenyatta said the youth account for about three quarters of the Kenyan population, adding that the government’s increased investment in youth-leaning sectors such as education, ICTs and entrepreneurship over the years was out of the appreciation of the immense economic potential held by young people.

“It is for this reason that I welcome GenU as a platform, which will enable leaders, partners, and stakeholders to make investments that will unlock the potential of Kenyan youth,” he said in a statement issued after the virtual launch in Nairobi.

GenU is a United Nations youth empowerment program launched in 2018 with the goal of ensuring that young people, aged between 10 and 24 years are either in school, training or employment by 2030.

During the launch, Kenyatta assured Kenyans that his administration will continue investing in interventions that seek to better the wellbeing of young people.

He said Kenya’s youthful population is the nation’s greatest resource, with the highest potential to uplift the country’s socioeconomic profile.

” My administration has prioritized investments in young people. These investments are yielding results and we can confidently say that Kenya has made good progress towards the achievement of objectives of GenU,” he said.

Kenyatta said his administration’s main preoccupation is creation of jobs and sustainable livelihoods for young people.

“In this context, we have taken steps to expand the internship program, with the aim of connecting skilled youth with job opportunities and enable them to acquire practical and workplace skills,” he said.

He said the Big 4 development agenda covering manufacturing, food security, affordable housing and universal healthcare offers expanded employment opportunities in agriculture, health, housing, and manufacturing.

He said despite the progress made in opening up the economy and creating employment opportunities, the country is still faced with a huge challenge of unemployment.

“Even as we acknowledge the progress we have made, I recognize that a lot more needs to be done. A significant number of our young people are unemployed or underemployed, and this situation has been worsened by the COVID-19 crisis.

“I am also aware that our young people face significant structural, financial, or technical barriers that limit their access to sustainable jobs,” he added.

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